From January 21st - 27th, 2016 the 'Quilt - International Great Quilt Festival'was held in Tokyo, it is the biggest Quilt Festival in the world.
The difference this year? Well I was there! :-)
From my last blog entry you remember that one of my Quilts made it into the Brother International Quilt challenge. So I thought why not come to Tokyo to experience it for myself. And what an experience it was!
Starting from waiting outside in the freezing cold for the opening (yes 6 degree Celsius is cold for an Aussie), to experiencing the massive amount of people that came to the show and of course all the beautiful Quilts on display, not to mention all the shopping that could be done! A Quilters dream.
As the 'Sisterhood of Quilters' grew and the waiting line became longer and longer it also got a little bit warmer, I felt like a Penguin in Antarctica... huddling together against the cold. Lots of laughter was going on too and someone even brought their knitting to pass time till the opening.
It really hit home then that I actually was in Tokyo and that I had a Quilt in a challenge, wow, who would have ever thought that would happen. Not in my wildest dreams, but so awesome.
Well the doors opened at 11 am on the first day and thanks to security we all went inside in a very orderly and well mannered fashion.. not an easy task to hold back a crowd that is eager to shop...
Noriko Endo a famous Japanese Quilter was at the Handi Quilter booth showing her skills at the Sweet Sixteen machine.
Debby Brown from Handi Quilter (USA) was there too and introduced shoppers to the new Simple Sixteen machine. It was lovely meeting her and having a chat.
And then there was all the shopping of course that 'needed' to be done. It was very different to what I had expected. First of all you need mostly cash as credit cards are not taken most of the time. Then there is lots of stalls that offer bag making material or fabrics and notions for smaller items and the beautiful but very expensive Kimono fabrics. One had to develop a slight 'push and elbow technique' to actually get to the stalls and items on display as the crowd of people was just massive.